How To Build A Tabernacle Model

how to build a model tabernacle

Model Tabernacle

My daughter is in Year 1 Unit 1 of Tapestry of Grace, and she has spent the past couple of weeks building a model tabernacle. She has spent hours on it. She does a project each week, but this is her big unit project. She worked on it with her sisters as well. Since we have three girls, and baby Rock just turned one, we do not have any masculine looking dolls, so you will notice that most of the people in the tabernacle are women, or women who have had their hair cut for this project!

She wrote out the instructions to build a model tabernacle as part of her project as well, and I thought it would be fun to share the model tabernacle project with you here.  My kids had the best time working on this project. They kept referring to the Bible to make sure that it was accurate. They know the names of all the parts of the tabernacle now.

model tabernacle

Ark of the Covenant

model tabernacle

Bronze Alter

model tabernacle tapestry of grace

People in Courtyard

model tabernacle

First Fruits Offerings

model tabernacle

Golden Alter

model tabernacle


model tabernacle


model tabernacle

Offering Money

Hi this is Budget Saving Mom’s daughter. I have been studying ancient Egyptians and the ancient Mesopotamians. I have also been studying about Moses and the Israelites. One of my projects was to make a tabernacle. The tabernacle I made is from the Old Testament. I am going to give you the instructions on how I made mine. I used the Bible for my guide, also I used pictures from the Internet to make sure I was accurate. I was able to find exact measurements for everything except the laver and the candlesticks in the Bible. This took me two weeks to make. You could probably do it in one but it would be challenging to make your cuts look good in just one week. We used 1/2 inch per cubit. Okay enough talk, here’s the things you’ll need.


1.60 2 ½x1x1 inch pillars of wood [These will go around the outside of the courtyard.]
2. A 15 in by 50 in platform of wood [This is going to be your base.]
3. Two 5×3/4×3/4 inch of wood [There are the two pillars for the front of the inner tabernacle.]
4. Two 15x5x1 inch pieces of wood [These are the walls of the tabernacle]
5. One 5x5x1 inch wall [This will go on the side that the pillars are not on for the inner tabernacle]
6. Gold paint
7. Red felt cut into 10 strips 2 in wide 5 in high and two more cut into 5 in wide and 5 in high. If you have blue, scarlet and purple cloth this would be more accurate.
8.White cloth cut two 50 in long 2.5 in high and two 25 in long 2.5 in high strips.
9.Four toothpicks
10. Buttons and beads
11.Wood glue
12.Two pencils [Take off the erasers and fit them over the top of the tabernacle]
13.Eight yellow rubber bands [tiny]
14.Polly pockets [They will need to have stands]
15.Polly pocket babies [These will be painted gold and put on the top of the ark of the covenant measurements below]
16.The Ark of the Covenant ¾ in high and wide 1 ¾ in long and 3/4 inch deep [It will have 4 gold rubber bands on it and 1 gold tooth pick on each side]
17.This is the bronze alter measurements 2 ½ in deep 2 ½ in wide 3 in high it is supposed to be bronze but I just painted it black first and then did a light coat of gold since we did not have bronze paint.
18.There are supposed to be tables in the court yard I did them by taking Polly pocket tables and putting bronze colored clay on top.
19.Animals such as goats, doves, sheep and calves
20.The top of acorn painted gold
21.A block ½ in high ½ in wide this is the golden altar
22.The table of shewbread is 1 in long ½ in wide and 1/2 inch deep – this will have 4 gold rubber bands at the feet with 1 tooth pick on each side.
23.Orange fuzz. [For fake fire]
24.Fake food – It will have to be tiny.
25.A table for the first food offerings and a table for money offerings
26.Brown or yellow cloth for the clothes
27.Bags small enough for the Polly pockets
28.Polly pocket cups
29.Purple cloth for your priest.
30.White cloth – about 2 feet for your priest clothing.


1.Paint every thing that’s wood gold.
2.Glue together 3 gold buttons for your laver.
3.Glue your acorn cap on top and put a clear bead inside. Glue these to the gold buttons, and your laver is complete.
4.Next glue together 6 gold buttons for the candlestick.
5. After that take 3 heart shaped buttons and glue them onto the top of the 6 buttons then glue 3 tiny yellow beads on top of the hearts. This makes the 6 pronged candlestick.
6.Glue the tabernacle together, onto the platform.
7.Glue your posts for the courtyard onto the rim of the base base ¼ in apart. There will be 20 on the long sides and 10 on each short sides.
8.Cut your cloth.
9.Glue the white cloth to the inside of the post. [Use wood glue] (I used blue paint that I thought would dry clear. This was not a good idea.)
10.Cut holes in the top of the two biggest pieces of red felt.
11.Put your pencils through the holes in that red cloth. Then glue one of the pencils with red cloth on top of the pillars and the other between the golden alter and the Ark of the Covenant.
12.Glue the red felt strips onto the outside of the tabernacle. There will be 4 on the long sides 1 on the short side.
13.Put your bronze alter in the bottom left corner. Also glue your orange fuzz onto the top for fire.
14.Put your laver into the middle of the courtyard.
15.Put the candlestick on to the bottom left of the actual building.
16.Put the shew bread table on the bottom right corner.
17.Put the golden alter on the middle right in the same part of the tabernacle with the shew bread table and candlestick.
18.Glue the golden Polly pocket babies onto the Ark of the Covenant and put it on the back middle. This needs to be behind the curtain.
19.Put any extra clay you have on one side behind the post as rocks.
20.Take several Polly pockets and make them priests by wrapping them in a little bit of white cloth and then put purple cloth on top of that.
21.Put your tables into the courtyard and your animals on top of the tables.

The kids really learned much from this project, and had a great time doing it!

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  1. Tammie says:

    I love this! I taught not too long ago about the tabernacle in Sunday School. I was actually fascinated by all the detail given in the Bible. We didn’t have anything this awesome to teach with but we did use the kids, yarn, and measuring tape to lay out the true size of the tabernacle outside. This was really good! Thanks for sharing on Skip to My Lou!

  2. Raymond Roady says:

    WOW!!!!!!!!!! Grrrreat job there kids. You are VERY talented. “Mom” – I think you are just plain AWESOME and because of you I have a WHOLE new respect for home-schooling.

  3. Amanda says:

    Wow! I’m very impressed! I’m pinning this for use with my toddler when he’s a little bit older. Right now we’re going through the Bible in a year and doing little art projects to go with it. But this will be fabulous once he’s bigger! I’ll have to look into Tapestry of Grace. I’ve heard of it before, but I don’t know much about it…

  4. amy says:

    That is soooo cool! I always have trouble picturing it even when I’m reading the detailed descriptions in the OT. Thanks for sharing!

  5. These are really great, detailed instructions. Our church family did a walk-through version a few years back. Was neat for the kids to experience it in a way that brought it alive a little bit. Not to mention being a great way for multiple generations to work together on a project.

  6. Jennifer says:

    This is a great project! I love the Barbie offering her sacrifice : )

  7. Shiloh says:

    I am very impressed. I love that she made it AND gave the instructions.:) I’m following now, because I’d love to see more of what you guys are doing.:) Thanks for posting.:)

  8. this is a fantastic project
    and one which
    i’m sure
    had given your daughter
    not only hours of fun
    hours of learning God’s word as well

    tell her
    ‘well done’
    from me

    and thanks for linking up to fridays unfolded.


  9. Budget Saving Mom's Daughter says:


    Thanks so much for all the comments. I did a post before and never got this many. It’s so cool!!!!!!!! I’m glad some of u are using it for your kids later!!!!!!!

  10. Budget Saving Mom's Daughter says:

    It’s sooooo cool some of you have done this before!

  11. Melanie says:

    I had to make one of these in 8th grade- love yours! I know how much work they can be!! Thanks for linking up to Things I’ve Done Thursday!


  12. What a neat project.

    - The Tablescaper

  13. Wow! Just look at all the details! She did an amazing job! Thanks for sharing on Fancy This Fridays!!!

  14. LaVonne says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’d love to make this with my daughter when she gets older. It is a perfect homeschool Bible project!


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